Giving a eulogy for a departed loved one is one of the highest honours you can receive, but as the magnitude of the event sinks in, it's easy to get caught up in the moment and find yourself feeling emotional. Although heavy emotions are commonplace at burial services, fighting back sobs can make the process of giving the eulogy difficult and make every minute spent behind the microphone feel arduous. By carefully following these tips, you'll do your best to eulogize the person while keeping your composure as much as possible.
As you're about to share your words, briefly scan the gathered group and look for some friendly faces. Keep the location of these allies in mind and, when you find yourself getting caught up in the emotion of the moment, shift your gaze toward these important people. An encouraging or loving look from a family member, close friend or even a colleague from work can help to quickly calm your nerves and prevent you from breaking down. When you identify key people to seek out, think of those who will quietly offer strength during this moment. It won't be a help to focus on someone who's sobbing uncontrollably. It's OK if one of the people you've identified appears emotional—just keep your eyes moving until you find someone else.
Although you don't have to worry about dehydration during the eulogy, it's extremely helpful to have a bottle or glass of water within reach. Set your drink on the podium, or—if there isn't a podium—set the water nearby or even ask a family member to hold it for you. During difficult minutes, pause your words long enough to take a sip of the water. The refreshing drink can help to keep you calm, and the temporary reprieve it provides is an effective way for you to gather yourself.
Conscious breathing is very important during stressful events, and the combination of sorrow and nerves that you feel during a eulogy can cause you to speak at an accelerated pace, run out of breath and lose your composure. Whether you've typed or handwritten your words, break up the eulogy into appropriate-length paragraphs and leave spaces throughout each section. These spaces subtly remind you to breathe, and leaning back from the microphone for just a short instance can often be enough to help you stay calm.
Funeral homes, like Serenity Funeral Service in Edmonton, offer a great way to honor your loved one—with these tips you can do your part to remember them as well.